ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Quirky Facts about the U.S. Presidents

Updated on October 8, 2012
George Washington
George Washington
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
John Tyler
John Tyler
Andrew Johnson
Andrew Johnson

Presidents are often remembered for their policies, speeches, and events that occurred while they were in office. But the presidents are as human as anyone. Many of them have amusing quirks or odd life experiences. Entire books have been written on this subject, but here’s a small sample.

-George Washington had numerous sets of dentures, including a pair made out of hippopotamus bone. He never had wooden teeth though, that is just a myth.

-Thomas Jefferson had a very populist, “common man” view of the presidency. He thought that his predecessors had acted too much like royalty and wanted to remove any pretentions from the office. He would horrify foreign dignitaries by greeting them in his pajamas.

-James Monroe was the last president who was part of the Revolutionary War era. He still liked to dress in late 18th century attire when he was president from 1817 to 1825. Many people found this bizarre. It would be like Barack Obama wearing a 1970’s afro.

-John Quincy Adams enjoyed skinny-dipping in the Potomac.

-John Tyler had 19 children by two different wives. After his first wife died, he married a 24 year old woman named Julia Tyler (nee Gardner) who was younger than his eldest daughter. Not surprisingly, relations between Tyler and his daughters were strained after that. Also, Tyler’s own son had previously dated Julia. Awkward.

-James K Polk hated shaking hands.

-James Buchanan was the only president who was a lifelong bachelor.

-Andrew Johnson was the first president to be impeached. He came within one vote of being removed from office.

-Ulysses S Grant was extremely squeamish about blood. That’s right – one of the most famous war generals in American history had a weak stomach.

-Rutherford Hayes and his wife Lucy hated alcohol so much that they banned all types of alcoholic beverages from the White House. They horrified visiting foreign dignitaries by serving them water. The first lady was named “Lemonade Lucy”.

-Chester An arthur loved to dress up in fancy clothes and throw parties. He was criticized for being lazy, but secretly had Bright’s Disease, which causes its sufferers to feel very lethargic.

-Benjamin Harrison was one of many presidents with a taste for younger women. His second wife was the niece of his first wife and twenty-five years younger than Harrison. His son and daughter were horrified and refused to attend the wedding. Harrison got revenge by cutting them out of his will.

-William McKinley’s wife had frequent seizures. She probably suffered from what we call epilepsy today. McKinley would sometimes hide her face with his handkerchief in an attempt to save her from embarrassment.

-William Howard Taft was so large that he became stuck in the White House bathtub.

-Warren G. Harding loved to drink whiskey, even though he was president during Prohibition. He hypocritically supported the 18th amendment banning the sale of alcohol.

-Calvin Coolidge was notoriously quiet. A woman once approached him and said that she had made a bet that she could get him to say more than two words. Coolidge replied, “You lose.”

-Herbert Hoover wanted the White House staff to be invisible. The cooks, servants, etc. were told to hide when Hoover was nearby. If he saw them, they could be fired.

-Harry Truman was notoriously hot-tempered. He once sent hate mail to a music critic who had bashed his daughter (a wannabe singer) in a column.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • nanderson500 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Seattle, WA

      They certainly do! Thanks for commenting!

    • NateB11 profile image

      Nathan Bernardo 

      6 years ago from California, United States of America

      Very interesting, they also had their idiosyncrasies as most people do.

    • nanderson500 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Yep, even presidents can be very eccentric people! Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 

      6 years ago from USA

      Wow, these are interesting, and so funny. People certainly do have their quirks.

    • nanderson500 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Thanks glad you enjoyed it!

    • joespivey profile image

      Joe Spivey 

      6 years ago

      I wonder what traits of current presidents people will find weird in 100 years time? Very interesting hub!

    • nanderson500 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Yeah, he really is quite amusing! He was also a Supreme Court Justice. He was considered a much better judge and a president.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I love Taft stories :)

    • Wendell Patterson profile image

      Wendell Patterson 

      6 years ago from Alabama

      That was quite interesting and funny

    • nanderson500 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Ha ha that is a good one too!

    • Nick Hanlon profile image

      Nick Hanlon 

      6 years ago from Chiang Mai

      Coolidge also loved to ring the bell at his desk and then hide under it.He was inspecting the beams of the White House with some staff that still showed the effects of the 1812 war.Someone asked what should be done about it.He said ''Send the bill to the King of England''.

    • nanderson500 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Thanks! I try to find obscure stuff that will surprise people.

    • Patty Kenyon profile image

      Patty Kenyon 

      6 years ago from Ledyard, Connecticut

      Very Interesting!!! I was completely unaware of almost everything in this Hub!!! Awesome Job!!!

    • Emayordomo profile image


      6 years ago from San Francisco, CA

      Very interesting hub! Voted Up and interesting!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)